Broke baby boomers (1 Viewer)

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Column: Broke baby boomers, it's time to face reality | PBS NewsHour

The cavalry ain’t coming

Where we start is by recognizing that the cavalry is not coming to rescue us. There is no national bailout—no prince charming on a white horse.

In the short to medium term, we’re going to have to save ourselves and one another.

Why? Well, with few exceptions, our politicians are not offering comprehensive solutions to the retirement-income crisis. Most are focused on Social Security as though it were the answer and the magic bullet. But what if you’re one of the millions of boomers under the full-retirement age, of between 65 or 67 depending on when you were born? Then for now, you’re out. Receiving the full Social Security benefit isn’t even an option.

And even when you are eligible for it, the full benefit will only replace about 40 percent of your preretirement income, if that. Most financial advisors say you’ll need 70 to 80 percent of it to maintain your standard of living. For tens of millions of Americans, that small Social Security check is the only money coming in. Our lawmakers can pretend all they want that that’s enough to live on. Give me a break.
Huge crisis in the making. Banks and businesses got bailed out. The super rich are getting more and more money. But the people who were working and now find themselves unable to work anymore, lost everything, and most vulnerable are withering on the vine.

They say the mark of a nation is how it handles the least fortunate. Will we continue to lump them all in a big generic group and not pay attention to the reality that things can fall apart?

My guess is that few think it will happen to them. My suggestion is that they talk to their mom's and dad's and ask them the real story of how they are making it. I know that I'll have to take care of my mom soon. There's no avoiding it.

Better ask them now, before it's too late and you are watching them pass from something that could have been prevented if only they had a little help. You are going to have to do it, because your politicians aren't looking out for us. That goes against their benefactors who have paid for their office.
 

superchuck500

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Column: Broke baby boomers, it's time to face reality | PBS NewsHour



Huge crisis in the making. Banks and businesses got bailed out. The super rich are getting more and more money. But the people who were working and now find themselves unable to work anymore, lost everything, and most vulnerable are withering on the vine.

They say the mark of a nation is how it handles the least fortunate. Will we continue to lump them all in a big generic group and not pay attention to the reality that things can fall apart?

My guess is that few think it will happen to them. My suggestion is that they talk to their mom's and dad's and ask them the real story of how they are making it. I know that I'll have to take care of my mom soon. There's no avoiding it.

Better ask them now, before it's too late and you are watching them pass from something that could have been prevented if only they had a little help. You are going to have to do it, because your politicians aren't looking out for us. That goes against their benefactors who have paid for their office.

There certainly is a reckoning coming.

Apart from Social Security, another big piece of the problem puzzle is the migration away from pensions to retirement investment accounts. This was a huge success for the interests of corporate officer and shareholder profits and a defeat for the interests of the working class. Retirement account "matching" is nowhere near the same funding levels of the typical pension that used to be the norm. And a big part of that results from employees simply not electing to contribute to the account - or at least to contribute the minimum required to get the employer match.

It was something that was pitched as a win/win, but it hasn't turned out that way at all. Certainly the employees have much to share in the blame for that, but it's a real problem. Until recently, somewhere in the neighborhood of 65% of Americans had no retirement investment account (IRA/401K) - as in zero retirement savings. Apparently there has been some improvement but it isn't enough. And the lower you get in the earnings spectrum, the more likely you are to find zero retirement savings.




Forbes Welcome
 

efil4stnias

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Column: Broke baby boomers, it's time to face reality | PBS NewsHour



Huge crisis in the making. Banks and businesses got bailed out. The super rich are getting more and more money. But the people who were working and now find themselves unable to work anymore, lost everything, and most vulnerable are withering on the vine.

They say the mark of a nation is how it handles the least fortunate. Will we continue to lump them all in a big generic group and not pay attention to the reality that things can fall apart?

My guess is that few think it will happen to them. My suggestion is that they talk to their mom's and dad's and ask them the real story of how they are making it. I know that I'll have to take care of my mom soon. There's no avoiding it.

Better ask them now, before it's too late and you are watching them pass from something that could have been prevented if only they had a little help. You are going to have to do it, because your politicians aren't looking out for us. That goes against their benefactors who have paid for their office.
i guess im fortunate enough that my mom was a WWII child hailing from Switzerland. We recently had a discussion ( she now 72 ) about finances ( she FINALLY moved from SS to North Shore to be closer to grand kids ) and i was actually quite surprised.

She was always quite frugal...never living beyond her means, saving every extra cent she had, and was involved in managing her savings.

she doesnt live extravagantly by any means. But is quite happy with where she is in life and material items hold little value to her.

Not to say my help wouldnt be there if necessary, but to say she is in a very good spot. Which, from that article, makes me feel really good.
 

superchuck500

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i guess im fortunate enough that my mom was a WWII child hailing from Switzerland. We recently had a discussion ( she now 72 ) about finances ( she FINALLY moved from SS to North Shore to be closer to grand kids ) and i was actually quite surprised.

She was always quite frugal...never living beyond her means, saving every extra cent she had, and was involved in managing her savings.

she doesnt live extravagantly by any means. But is quite happy with where she is in life and material items hold little value to her.

Not to say my help wouldnt be there if necessary, but to say she is in a very good spot. Which, from that article, makes me feel really good.

My dad has the strongest work ethic of anyone I have ever known. He has worked very hard his whole life - in school, in his career, at being a father. He is going to retire on November 1 of this year, the day after he turns 70. He deserves to relax and do whatever he wants. Along with everything I am grateful to him for, I won't ever have to pay a dime to support my parents.

I think my in-laws are okay too. Along with their SS, my FIL gets a pension from being a teacher for 40 years, along with his military disability payment from being wounded in Vietnam. My MIL worked for US Air for 25 years and I think there's some kind of structured retirement there too.

One of the biggest things is going to be longterm healthcare coverage. Medicare is fine but if boomers can afford it, a longterm managed care policy can be tremendously helpful to families dealing with aging loved ones.
 

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Most folks my age don't have pensions anymore. My work in healthcare had a VERY modest pension that stopped years ago, and I finally just accepted a buy out rather than the pittance per month I would have gotten at retirement age. My last two positions have carried no pension benefits and the match for my IRA is 4%. We are starting to look at retirement, and finding that our current forecast of SS payments will add up to not quite half of our current income.

And that half of our income is before Paul Ryan gets a hold of SS. If he and his fellow Republicans manage to gut SS like they want, there will be old folks all over having to be supported by their kids, if they're lucky, or eating cat food if they're unlucky.

When I started my career, everyone had a pension to count on as well as SS, if you worked for a decent sized company. It got pulled out from under a good number of folks. It's easy to blame people for not saving more now, but lots of folks got blindsided by the very rapid migration away from pensions.

We are lucky, compared to averages, but it's still a source of worry and stress for us. I can't imagine how stressful it is for those less fortunate than us.
 

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